Before the age of 10-years-old, I ran away from home twice. When I did not get my way as a child or when I got into fights and arguments, I ran away from home and escaped only feeling miniscule guilt when I peeked out from my hiding places at my parents worrying and searching for me. I chose to run away and hide rather than stay and fight and face off with problems and people who rubbed me the wrong way, but problems always have a way of finding you when they are not resolved. I was a trickster and mischievous child with throwing water in my uncle’s face when he played dead. I picked the lock of my sister’s bedroom door to read her diary. I was a badass brat when I was a little girl.
By the time I was in my pre-teens and faced with my first kidney transplant failing and my mother leaving, I was a bitter and angry prepubescent constantly questioning “Why Me?” or “What did I ever do to deserve this?” I played and was the angry victim. I was NOT happy. It was when I faced losing life and dealing with suffering and death that I understood how life is this precious gift wrapped up with this shiny bow called ‘gratitude’ AND that laughter is the best and free medicine in the world—especially belly laughs that make you laugh so hard that you start crying. It is always the case in life that you never know what you have until you are about to lose it or it is completely gone.